The United States and China will work together to get nuclear-armed North Korea take “a different course,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on March 18, softening previous criticism of Beijing after talks with his Chinese counterpart.
China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea’s surging nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the talks with Tillerson, which covered issues such as North Korea, Taiwan, and bilateral trade, as “candid, pragmatic, and productive.”
The two sides appeared to have made some progress or at least put aside differences on difficult issues, in advance of a planned summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump, possibly next month.
Tillerson also met with Chinese State Counsellor Yang Jiechi later on Saturday afternoon.
A former oil executive with no prior diplomatic experience, Tillerson will meet Xi on March 19.